Daily devotion

The ‘In-Crowd’

‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ Praise God!

Mark 1:40-45

If you’re honest, are there particular types of people that you instinctively want to avoid? Maybe you find it difficult to look at them without feeling awkward or equally they hold a peculiar fascination that makes you want to stare if passing them in the street. Perhaps people severely disfigured by scars or a disability or perhaps those who are so clinically obese that they can hardly walk. Or maybe there are categories of people that evoke a negative emotional response such as illegal immigrants, ‘welfare scroungers’, or even city bankers!

People with chronic infectious skin diseases were regarded in Jesus’ day as untouchable, to be shunned and treated as outcasts. This was not just individual prejudice but also tied up with ritual religious cleanliness and acceptance before God. To touch someone with such a skin disease was anathema and for a rabbi such as Jesus to do so intentionally was literally horrifying to his onlookers. But it also brought hope. If he could do it for this man in these circumstances, then he could do it for others, and as a result ‘the people still came to him from everywhere

The fact that Jesus healed him is a vivid reminder of God’s transformational power, and the way in which Jesus healed him not only speaks of hope but also brings challenge to those of us who only speaks of hope but also brings challenge to those of us who want to ‘live as Jesus did’. In our hearts, there can be people on the inside and those on the outside. We may never articulate that there are those who are less acceptable to us than others, but if you notice which new people coming into your church or workplace get lots of attention and which never get asked to take any public responsibility, it can speak volumes about our collective prejudices.

Ask the Holy spirit to show you your area of inner prejudice. Repent, and ask him to help you ‘live as Jesus did’ instead

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